Jr. Daniel Alomia Robles 125, Urb. Los Alamos. Santiago de Surco, Lima, Peru

©2019 by Gonzalo Alegria 

DORA VARONA, MY MOTHER

(Santiago de Cuba, CUBA, June 19, 1930 - Lima, PERU, March 7, 2018). My mother was not an ordinary woman. She had a strange combination of sweetness and claw, sensitivity and endurance, which made her a creative and struggling woman, able to triumph over adversity, by force of intellectual and emotional intelligence.

 

Pedagogue, literata and journalist, he studied in Santiago de Cuba (his birthplace) and Madrid (Spain, the land of his ancestors, along with Italy). As a young woman, she stood out as a brilliant poet, winning various literary awards. He reached the renowned Adonáis Poetry Prize in Madrid, in 1956, becoming the first female member of the Gerardo Diego Literary Tertulia.

 

His recitals at the Madrid Athenaeum, the Institute of Hispanic Culture, etc., combined beauty, with intellectuality, magnified by a refined declarative art (captivated the public with voice and gesture, simple and refined at the same time).

 

One of hER poems was extended by his teacher the great poet Vicente Alexaindre (Nobel Prize for Literature 1933). He also met and frequented Camilo José Cela (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1989).

 

She met my father on a trip to Cuba, when Ciro Alegria taught a Novel Technique course at the Central University of Havana. And after a brief romance, they got married. I suspect that she fell more in love with literary portent than with man, but in any case, she loved and respected him deeply and dedicated much of her widowhood, to rescue her unpublished work, publishing it and spreading it throughout Latin America, Spain and the rest of the world , favoring more than 70 translations of the consecrated novels: The World is Wide and Alien, The Hungry Dogs and The Golden Snake.

 

It is surprising, my mother's courage to overcome the sudden death of Ciro Alegría. My father died, leaving her 4 months pregnant, of my younger brother, Diego, a posthumous son who died in turn, at age 14, climbing on a school trip in a place in the Sierra de Lima, known as Marcahuasi. Then he had to suffer a long and cruel trial to usurp the copyright of my father, she was his legitimate widow. Finally, she abandoned her work as a school teacher to launch into the publishing career by collecting and editing the unpublished work of Ciro Alegría, which was a success, both intellectual (literary) and business.